(VIDEO) Real Madrid 3 : 3 Manchester City. Federico Valverde nets late equaliser as Real Madrid hold Manchester City (Watch Recap).

After a nail-biting 3-3 tie in Madrid, Manchester City will have their work cut out for them if they want to save their Champions League title.


The quarterfinal is still very much in the balance after Federico Valverde handed the hosts a just reward for their efforts, but the holders held a two-goal lead in an exciting match played under the new roof of the Bernabeu Stadium.


City took an early lead through Bernardo Silva, but Real took a 2-1 lead into halftime of Tuesday’s first leg thanks to goals from Ruben Dias and Rodrygo.


Valverde had the last say to set up another exciting match at Etihad Stadium next week, after Phil Foden leveled the score with a spectacular strike and Josko Gvardiol put City back in front.


City were without Kevin De Bruyne, who had been ill all week, because he became sick just after the team got to the stadium.


Mateo Kovacic was inserted into the starting lineup as a result of manager Pep Guardiola’s last-minute decision.


Despite Real’s best efforts to heighten the rowdy mood by closing the roof of their recently renovated 85,000-capacity arena, the spectators first appeared oblivious to both.


They wasted no time getting on the board and had an early opportunity to take the lead when Aurelien Tchouameni received a card for a rough halt on Jack Grealish, a move that will exclude him from the return leg.


Silva wasted no time capitalizing on Real’s defensive lapses; after only two minutes, he beat goalkeeper Andriy Lunin with a left-foot shot that went into the bottom corner.


Erling Haaland’s shot from a tight angle was saved, and Grealish’s follow-up effort was also stopped, as City nearly added a second.


Real Madrid scored twice in as many minutes to thwart what appeared to be the ideal start for City.


Eduardo Camavinga patiently built up the equalizer, and when a long-range drive from Dias took a terrible deflection, it beat Stefan Ortega, who started despite Ederson being on the bench.


A few minutes later, the home team took the lead when Rodrygo dribbled the ball past Ortega after breaking free down the left and outpacing Manuel Akanji, who was trying to catch up.


Valverde fired a shot toward Ortega, and Rodrygo missed the target, posing a new threat to Real.


As Real increased their pressure, City became careless with the ball. Vinicius Junior challenged Ortega just before halftime, and Rodri, who is usually rock solid, appeared labored.


Real reclaimed control in the second half, with Jude Bellingham and Vinicius going close, but City’s early second-half efforts to re-establish themselves were unsuccessful. Grealish attempted a cut inside but missed the target.


City proved their continuing class by not only surviving the storm but also regaining the game with a spectacular Foden strike, while lesser sides could have folded.


After sixty-six minutes, the England international, who had been having a frustrating game up until that point, caught Lunin off guard with a fierce shot that he smashed into the top corner from outside the area.


Gvardiol scored his first goal for the club five minutes later with an equally powerful long-range strike, so things were looking up for City soon after.


It was fitting, though, that Real would reply once again, so the scoring would continue.


On this occasion, it was Valverde who was aiming the ball, and his exquisite volley from a Vinicius cross beat Ortega in the goal.


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